I don’t know about your Math experience in school, but mine was filled with excitement! My dad is a chemical engineer who added a masters in business to his resume in his 30’s (I distinctly remember being ‘sssshhh’d’ by my mom because dad was studying at the dining room table). But my favorite school memories include time spent with my dad working out the most difficult math problems that algebra, geometry, and trigonometry could throw at us. Word Problems are part of Third Grade’s homework: read, CUBES, show your work (aka HOW you thought about the problem and HOW you solved it), RACER, and write about your answer are key elements to success with these tricky problems. Real Life includes problems can be solved with Math–so as we move from addition & subtraction to multiplication & division, your child must be prepared to use these four operations in each and every Math Word Problem. In class we practice, make mistakes, try again, discuss strategies, and use pictures as well as numbers to demonstrate the understanding of these complicated problems. Please take the time to reason through and discuss the word problems that are meant to review what has been introduced and practiced in class, so that your child has the confidence needed to tackle all future ‘brain stretching’ questions in Math. It might just end up being one of your child’s favorite memories…
Explorers, Resources, and Money…Oh My! European Explorers are seen as heroes of their time: taking risks, thinking differently than their peers, and heading out for parts unknown. BUT, we are also viewing these scoundrels through the lens of the Native Americans who lived on and worshiped the North American continent. Which means we have entered into a variety of discussions about the good vs. the bad of discovering new lands–forcing some students to ‘disagree’ with one another as they learn more about life in the 1400’s through the 1600’s.
Reading: the foundation of all learning takes on a whole new meaning in Third Grade! Picture Books segue into chapter books where pictures develop in the mind of the reader vs. on the pages before them. Words begin to take on new meanings: figurative language, antonyms, synonyms, multiple meanings. The key to success is stamina: can your child read for longer and longer periods of time, still understand the text, and continue to question & predict as they read. Reading transforms into being a Reader: looking for, guessing about, and using the text to discover meaning beyond the words on the page. Reading at home, in the car, while waiting for a sibling’s practice to end, and as they tuck into bed each evening is the new norm…I hope you and your family are experiencing the joy of reading with your children!
Spend Time not Money on your children: all will be richer for the experience!